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Wellness > Mental Health

Feeling Empty When Everything in the World is Empty

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Everything in the world is still weary. Still risky. Still questionable. We do not have many answers about COVID-19. Here is what we know though. We know to wear masks, quarantine if you or someone you had direct contact with was infected, and limit social gatherings as much as possible. What we don’t know trumps this list by a large amount. Why do orders vary across states? What do I need to do even more to protect others? Can I go back to work and school safely? Will we run out of tests? When will there be a vaccine? There are so many more but the question I have been placing the most importance on and I ask myself more often than all the others is when will this be over and we can go back to normal?

open books on a table
Photo by Patrick Tomasso from Unsplash

COVID-19 has changed the world in so many ways that have negatively impacted so many. I personally do not see a positive or silver lining out of this pandemic. Everything ceased all at once. Human connection was something people feared, but something everyone longed for. Everything was closed and had no people inside of it. The concept of friends, extended family, fellow employees, classmates, servers, and so many more vanished nearly instantaneously. Not only was there a gaping hole in society, but there was one in me.


I feed off of others. I need social interaction. That is how I thrive. All of a sudden this was snatched from me. Don’t get me wrong it was what needed to be done to save lives and protect humanity, but we all can still be upset about it. Being trapped in a house with the same people was not who I was. I was the person who had a busy schedule, who loved being outdoors and being able to do things with other people. Communicating and enjoying time with others was essential for me to not be lonely. This disappearing left me more lonely than I had ever felt. Facetime was a thing, but it was so much different. It didn’t fill my hole, so I was just left empty.

lonely woman looking out a window
Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler from Unsplash

Even though schools, workplaces, restaurants, etc. have begun to reopen for some reason this whole hasn’t left me. I still feel empty and that can only be true due to the biggest question I ask myself, when will we go back to normal? The uncertainty of this leaves me in a paralyzing fear, a fear that we will never experience how life was before ever again. 


To make things worse, you have to deal with people who are overly cautious and do not want to see anybody or leave their homes causing continuing isolation in the world still, but there are also people who attend large gatherings with no masks to only promote the disease. My main issue with this is all the fighting. I try to avoid the arguing surrounding this topic, not that I don’t have my beliefs and opinions on the matter, it’s just that it creates more loneliness. People who are interacting again, but only to argue does not fill the void in the world. 

With all of this said, I still feel empty. I feel as if I am how the world feels. The world misses people running out and about in a hustle and bustle. It misses people roaming their lands and waters. It misses the connection it had to humans. It longs for this but when not achieving this it becomes overly disappointing, lonely, and empty. I feel exactly the way the world does. Even if I and the world can feel progress being made, we miss what we had. We never should have taken it for granted as without it we are empty together.

Kate O’Leary

Wisconsin '23

Kate is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin Madison majoring in Biology, Psychology and Sociology. She is the proud co-president of Her Campus Wisconsin. Kate enjoys indoor cycling, spending time with friends, cheering on the Badgers and making the absolute best crepes ever!